Friday, October 17, 2014

Birdman

Bursting at the seams with metaphors, themes, and symbolism, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman teeters on the brink of becoming too busy for its own good. This is a film with a lot on its mind, and while it never delivers anything breathtakingly original, it explores interesting thematic material in mesmerizing fashion: cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity) shoots the film in a series of long continuous shots stitched together to give the effect that the movie is essentially one long take.

Birdman
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Amy Ryan, Naomi Watts




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Gone Girl

One of the highest compliments I can pay David Fincher's Gone Girl is that I could have watched it for at least another hour. It's a fast-paced nail biter, full of outstanding performances and shocking twists. Not only that, it's a thought-provoking film with a bit of a sleazy streak that's obviously made for adults, something that may as well be a unicorn in the current film landscape. The film, based on Gillian Flynn's popular novel, was actually written by Flynn herself, and Fincher's realization of her script results in a surprising, chilling, captivating, dark, and occasionally humorous take on marriage, betrayal, and manipulation. Gone Girl is one of the most entertaining movies of the year.

Gone Girl
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon, Neil Patrick Harris



Friday, August 29, 2014

As Above/So Below

What's scarier than being trapped underground? For the claustrophobic among you, probably not much, but being trapped in catacombs, surrounded by the bones of millions of dead people, and entering the actual gates of hell just might top it. So it goes in As Above/So Below, a found footage horror film that plays like The Descent meets Event Horizon, with a bit of National Treasure mixed in and viewed through Cloverfield lens. I actually like all of those films far more than this one; As Above/So Below is a passable thriller with a few good jump scares and a handful of creepy moments.

As Above/So Below
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge



Friday, August 22, 2014

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

When the first Sin City arrived in 2005, it carried with it a sense of true innovation and the promise of a visual style audiences had never seen before. The story wasn't particularly original, but no one could deny its had jaw-dropping special effects and gorgeous cinematography, taking a black and white color palette from the film noir movies it was so clearly paying homage to and adding vibrant splashes of color. But that was nine years ago, and where the first film's flair was cool and surprising, this time it feels like a gimmick dragged out for far too long. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was not worth the wait.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller
Starring: Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba